Friday, 8 July 2011

Radio Websites July 2011

First published in Radio User  
Chrissy Brand looks at a wide range of websites with a radio connection. This month she chooses some lesser known stations, looks at the Seattle radio dial, hears some suitable summer sounds, picks some podcasts and finds curious cameras down under.

Are you looking to get away from it all to somewhere you can appreciate stunning scenery and wildlife, and also enjoy unrivalled radio reception? If so, then Lapland awaits you. DX veteran Mika Makelainen, informs us that the Aihkiniemi cabin in northern Finland, built last summer by DXers is now available to rent out. It is equipped with kitchen, bathroom, bedroom for two and a radio room, plus an array of one km long Beverage antennas. Check it out at

Radio near and far
Domino records is an international record label with an interesting blend of global musical artistes. In June they ran a one week radio station on an RSL (restricted service licence) in London.  A week of live, independent and international radio was promised and hopefully there will more in the future, as their ethos certainly is a deserving case for a longer licence. The radio station online, which hopefully will continue regardless of the RSL, is at  "In the spirit of such stand-alone broadcasting giants as Radio Caroline, The Peel Show, Rinse FM, The World Service and Women's Hour - and dispensing with such orthodoxies as play lists and compliance - Domino Radio featuring non-stop twenty four hour music, conversation and good times."

IRIN Radio is a station I recently stumbled across on one of my forays into the great unknown that is the worldwide web.  They “give a voice to vulnerable communities and provide them with information to make better-informed decisions about their own lives. IRIN Radio produces high-quality programming in local languages on humanitarian issues, ready for broadcast by local stations. The service also provides hands-on training to journalists, developing their production and reporting skills, allowing local radio to serve communities more effectively.” Weekly podcasts are available in English and they make for an educational listen to people’s lives in countries such as Somalia and Uganda.

Whilst on the subject I read a very interesting report on a Rwandan radio station, Radio Salus, at the UNESCO website. Set up with UNESCO and EU funding it is listened to by almost two third of the Rwandan population in addition to a big audience also in neighbouring Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. The article is a few years old but interesting nonetheless, at

Or you can search under the “themes” drop down menu for “radio” at  or put “Radio Salus” into the search box there. Salus is derived from the Latin word "salut", meaning salvation. (left).

Onto Israel next with a retrospective visit by Trudy and Miko Schwartz. Their travels in Israel many decades ago are presented tin several parts. Part 3 includes some fascinating black and white photos of Jerusalem broadcasts in World War II.,7340,L-3878149,00.html  It’s part of the “Y Net news Israel at your fingertips” website.  

Australian spies
Radio Australia carried a fascinating feature on an espionage museum in the middle of nowhere. The ABC Rural reporter programme is a unique piece of radio that always fascinates me. If you don’t hear it directly on Radio Australia or World Radio Network, you can get an audio link via the website  ABC Radio's Bush Telegraph is another programme worth tuning into or clicking on a link for. The Spy camera museum I referred to is located in the small town of Herberton in northern Queensland. It may be a long way to travel in person but you can manage a virtual visit by going to  

Cameras from around the world are featured, with some used for aerial surveillance and others disguised as pocket watches, including the 1904 Ticka Watch camera used by Scotland Yard and the US Police. The website blog is a good read with photography related tales. Herberton itself is well worth a virtual tour via the historic mining site  

Radio for all
I have mentioned some of the Radio 4 All podcasts before but as I’m always dipping into this website see what is new I thought I would share some findings  

Also known as the A-Info Radio Project, it started way back in 1996 when “grassroots broadcasters, free radio journalists and cyber-activists provided found a way to share radio programmes via the Internet. Their mission statement is “to support and expand the movement for democratic communications worldwide. We exist to be an alternative to the corporate and government media which do not serve struggles for liberty, justice and peace, nor enable the free expression of creativity. The archived material is available to anyone who wants it free of charge.”

It’s a very worthwhile and useful website and resource, that although may not have the bells and whistles of some similar sites, certainly enables the individual to hear a wide range of non-mainstream radio and views. There are lots of ways to find podcasts on this site, and searching by topic gives you a staggering choice. Just work your way around until there’s a podcast you like the sound of. I enjoy The Sunrise Ocean blender, Radio Curious, Radio Free Kansas, Latin Waves and Mellow Madness, amongst many others.

At the other end of the spectrum we have Carmarthenshire Community Radio at  The station gets out and about and has film reviews in a programme called “Good Film Hour”. Local music also makes it an interesting online listen with rather a laid back relaxed atmosphere to it all. This is probably due to the less pressurised time slots that many stations have. Community radio can allow people to voice their views in the time that they need.

Also relaxed but in a different way is Frisky Radio, which is on Facebook at  and  

Online for a decade now and with over 90 exclusive shows hosted by artists from bedroom DJs to international superstars they aim to “deliver cutting-edge dance music fuelled by our passion for the genre both online into your living rooms and offline on the dance floor.” It may not sound like they’ll be your cup of tea but some of the music is very lively, thoughtful and listenable. It’s always good to tick another box in the “genres of music I know something about” category.

Performing a similar role is Dance Radio at  This Greek online stations plays a blend of laid back music that you often hear emanating from restaurants and bars on Greek Island resorts. There are three formats to choose from: tech house, chill out and trance and they are all the kind of sounds that you can enjoy whilst sipping a cocktail at a Mediterranean beach bar- for me it generates an instant sunshine feeling.

If you are more of a traditionalist in your musical tastes, then try these 100 popular jazz standards at  
Thousands of people voted for the quintessential Top 100 jazz songs of all time. If you like and know jazz you will find yourself disputing some of the choices, and if you don’t know much jazz then it’s a perfect introduction. Along with the list you can listen to some of them and even see performances of all one hundred. It’s a thoroughly entertaining way to while away an hour at a time. It just illustrates once again, for me at least, how radio and the internet dispense the need for 99% of what is aired on television. The main website  is also good for day to day listening to world class jazz music.

KEXP in Seattle was recommended to me via a friend’s Facebook thread, and a very good station it is too.  All sorts of sounds for and from the Pacific North West coast that gave us the grunge scene in the early 1990s. There are playlists and podcasts of the day, and all in all I embarked upon an enjoyable new music experience.

Seattle certainly sounds like a lively city and the station is involved, from its presence at the Memorial holiday weekend through the summer festivals. Other Seattle stations I have tried out and want to return to in time include many I found at the community web portal for the area.  

This has an early web feel to it and the vintage radios scattered around helps maintain the sense that a diehard radio buff has a large hand in this fine effort. KKNW is a local news station at  Puget Sound Public radio from KOUW at  and live streaming of Native American programming at  

Finally for this month, I know I’ve banged on about the Bratislava Radio building over the years, but I was surprised when it came up in conversation at an interview I had this week for a BBC web project. The upside down pyramid casts a long shadow, and I was delighted to watch its construction on YouTube at the following channel  There amongst almost 100 historic videos of all manner of Slovakian live is a four minute clip called Bratislava - Stavba obrátenej pyramídy (1976).

Don’t forget to let me know of any websites you recommend- just drop an email to me at chrissylb @


Jim Davies said...

Great to see that video of the Slovak radio building. I won the first ever Radio Slovakia trivia quiz in 1993 and got a postcard of the inverted pyramid amongst other prizes. I think I also got an invite to see the building but have yet to make it over to Slovakia and Bratislava.

Chrissy Brand said...

Belated congrats on your 1993 win Jim! Glad you appreciated the lovakia youTube video.

I have visted back in 1993 when it first split from Czech Republic/ Czecholslovakia, so must get back there soon, a lovely country- Saw the eastern side in 1991 and just Bratislava in 1993.

Inverted pyraminds rule!

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